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Queen’s Speech: “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

18 May 2016
Road sign for Waterloo Place and Pall Mall on the side of 116 Pall Mall
  • Lack of big announcements is no bad thing, say business leaders
  • Institute of Directors welcomes Modern transport Bill, which unlocks potential for space industry and driverless cars
  • But says Government lacks ambition on broadband

Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors:

“The Government was right to resist the temptation to announce lots of eye-catching initiatives in the Queen’s speech. Once the referendum hiatus is over, the focus for ministers must be on following through on several worthwhile programmes already in train to boost innovative companies.

“The most exciting area of the Government’s agenda for us is the Modern Transport Bill, which continues the work on developing the UK’s first spaceport and encouraging job-creation in the industry. The Bill also contains encouragement for firms working on driverless cars, and the lays a framework for the commercial use of drones. Properly supervised, both are exciting growth areas for business.

“We are concerned, however, that the commitment to enable all households to access broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second is not ambitious enough. Several cities around the world are pushing ahead with networks of 10 gigabits per second – a thousand times faster. If the UK is going to continue to be a world leader in the digital economy, the Government needs to look further ahead than their basic universal service obligation.”

The IoD has long supported the development of a UK space industry, first calling for a spaceport in 2012, and published a report on broadband in February, calling for the Government to adopt an new target of 10 gpbs by 2030.

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